• Tennis Study Guide



    1. In tennis a score of zero is known as love. 
    2. The first point is scored as fifteen (15), the second point is scored as thirty (30), the third point is scored as forty (40), and the fourth point is GAME.
    3. The score of the player serving the ball is always indicated first (example: 15-Love or Love-15).
    4. A player with the score of forty (40) wins the game providing he scores another point, and his opponent’s score is not more than thirty (30).  For example, the score is 40-30, the player serving the ball wins the next point. The serving player wins the game. 
    5. Should the score of the game be tied 40-40, the score is said to be deuce.  The player winning the next point is said to have the advantage.  If that same player goes on to win the next point, he wins the game. Should his opponent win the point, the score of the game goes back to deuce.  You need to win by two (2) points to win the game.
    6. There are six (6) games to a set.  The first player to reach six (6) with at least a two-game advantage wins the set  (example: 6-4).
    7. If the score of the set is 6-5, the player in the lead must reach seven (7).  If the score is tied at six (6), the set goes to a tiebreaker. 
    8. In a tiebreaker, the first person to reach seven (7) points with at least a two (2)-point differential, wins the set. 
    9. The right service box is known as the deuce side, and the left service box is known as the ad side.
    10. A player loses the point if:
      1. the ball bounces twice on his side of the net or if he does not return the ball to his opponent’s court;
      2. his body, clothing, or racquet, touch the net while the ball is in play;
      3. he reaches over the net to play a ball unless the ball has bounced over the net due to spin or the wind.




    1.      The most crucial key to a good serve is the ball toss.  

    2.      Before serving, the server must stand with both feet behind the base line, and in between the center mark and the sideline (inside line for singles, outside line for doubles).

    1. Service always begins to the right of the center mark and is made to the opponent’s right service court.  After each point is played, service courts are changed for the next service in an alternating fashion. 
    2. The server has two (2) service attempts to put the ball into play. 
    3. If the server does not successfully serve one (1) of his two (2) attempts, it is called a double fault and his opponent scores a point.
    4. The serve is made by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it with the racquet before it touches the ground.
    5. The ball must clear the net and land in the proper service court or on one of the lines of the proper service court before being hit by the receiver.  However, after the service, the ball may be hit before it bounces. 
    6. The same person serves one complete game before the serve changes.
    7. After the first game, opponents change sides and then again after every two games.
      1. The reason for this is to account for weather conditions, audience distraction, etc.
      2. In doubles, the serve alternates from one team to the next until each person serves (continually rotating).
    8. During the delivery of the service, the server must not:
      1. change his position by walking or running;
      2. touch with either foot any area other than that behind the baseline and between the lines;
      3. miss the ball in attempting to strike it, however, the server may toss and catch the ball without penalty;
      4. fail to hit the ball into the proper service court.
    9. A let is a ball which on the service touches the net, strap, or band and is otherwise good.
    10. If the ball touches the net and falls outside of the service box, it is a fault.
    11. If a let happens on the first serve, the server gets two (2) more serves.  If a let happens on the second serve, the server gets one more serve. 
    12. A let is called when a player is unable to play a shot due to circumstances beyond his control, such as interference from a ball or a player from another court.
    13. A let also occurs if a service is delivered before the receiver is ready.  If however, a receiver attempts to return the service, he is considered to be ready.



    1. The most common forehand grip is known as the Eastern grip (can be used for any stroke).
      1. Turn the shaft of the racquet so that the face of the racquet is perpendicular to the ground and shake hands with the racquet.
    2. The Continental grip is effective for serves and backhand.
      1. Assume the Eastern grip and turn the racquet clockwise with your other hand until the top points to one (1) o’clock (counter clockwise if you’re a lefty).
    3. The Western grip if effective for forehand volleys but ineffective for any other shot.
      1. Assume the Eastern grip and turn the racquet counter clockwise until it points to eleven (11) o’clock (lefty, turn it clockwise to one (1) o’clock).
    4. Your wrist should be firm when hitting all basic strokes (opposed to “snapping” your wrist in badminton).



    1.      Hitting the ball with topspin gives you more control and makes the ball bounce higher and toward your opponent.

    1. Heavy topspin causes the ball to fall to the court more quickly and slows the ball down.
    2. When hitting a topspin shot, you should take the ball a little later, or farther back in your swing.
    3. Slice or backspin causes the ball to spin backward.  When a slice ball bounces, the ball stays low.
    4. When hitting a basic forehand shot, the swing should go from low (from the hip) to high (on your follow through).
    5. When tossing the ball in your serve, the ball should be thrown at least two (2) to three (3) inches higher than your highest reach with the racquet and the ball should be thrown slightly in front of you.
    6. You should begin each point when serving, with two (2) balls in your possession.
    7. If the ball hits the line, it is in.
    8. In doubles, the net man is on the opposite side of the server.
    9. Aces are serves that your opponent cannot even touch with his racquet.
Last Modified on September 4, 2014